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The App that Will Revolutionize Your Wine Tasting

aroma_app_Screen1.jpgAs many of you know, I've long struggled with the idea of an aroma wheel. I've never understood why it needed to be round, nor believed there was relevancy in the spatial relationships between the various aromas on the wheel. That's why I created my aroma cards that a) fit into a wallet, and b) have a lot more of the aromas I smell in wine than most of the wheels I've ever seen.

But there were inherent limitations to the card. Chief among them were the fact that it only offered a set of words on paper. For curious or beginner wine tasters, these words certainly were useful in helping to make the very difficult connection between scent and language that is required for us to identify aromas. But it's still hard to figure out what you're smelling in a wine, even when you have a list of potential aromas right in front of you.

That's why I'm excited today to announce that in partnership with Google, Vinography is launching The AromaApp™, an iPhone application designed to take the guesswork out of wine aroma identification. The app is built on the new Google Nose platform that also launched to the public today.

Thanks to friends at Google, I've had developer-level access to the Google Nose platform for the past six months, and have built the AromaApp using APIs for Google's proprietary aroma_app_in_action.jpgAromabase.

I'm excited not only to be one of the first people to utilize this revolutionary new platform from Google, but also because what my developers have been able to do with it is quite remarkable in its simplicity.

No longer do you have to worry about finding the correct descriptor for a wine, or puzzling through the difference between white peaches, rose peaches, or pesche de vigne. Simply point the iphone's microphone at your glass of wine, and press the app's single button.

Through technology perfected by apps such as Ocarina and others that have figured out how to use the iPhone's microphones as a sensing device, the AromaApp analyzes the spectral signature of the wine's esters, and transmits the data back to Google Nose, which automatically analyzes the result and provides you with a compact "tasting" note for the wine.

It's as simple as that.

Of course, we're at an early stage. I look forward to adding many more features to the app including sensory profiles that help you customize the app's sensory range to more closely match your own. But for now, I'm aiming to simply help transform your wine tasting experience into something much more profound.

Because of sensitivities to server load issues, the AromaApp will be available on an invitation only basis for now. Please leave a comment (make sure to fill out the e-mail address field on the form) and reserve your place in line today.

Thanks, and I hope you love this product. Your feedback is always welcome.

If you're interested in learning more about Google Nose, here's the launch video:

Comments (45)

Allison wrote:
04.01.13 at 11:11 AM

Almost seems to good to be true. What a great idea. Where do I sign up?

04.01.13 at 12:25 PM

Riiiiiight...Nice try though;-)

Wine Harlots wrote:
04.01.13 at 12:30 PM

What an awesome tech tool to make the chore of tasting notes effortless. What's the price for such an amazing product. (And can I get a test sample?)

All the best,

Nannette Eaton

Zoe wrote:
04.01.13 at 12:47 PM

Ha. It's a great start, Alder! For a future version, what I'd really like would be the ability to hold my phone in front of a pricey bottle and have it tell me if after drinking, if I'll feel that it was truly worth the price. And maybe it could use it's predictive algorithms to tell me if I'm going to have one glass too many, if I pop the cork? Maybe I could tap a button to reveal the exact inappropriate thing I'll text my boss or my ex if I decide to partake in its wondrous virtues?

04.01.13 at 12:51 PM

Love the concept. Want to try it.

Raphael Rocamora wrote:
04.01.13 at 1:12 PM

I'd love to try this!! Sounds awesome

Doug Wilder wrote:
04.01.13 at 2:18 PM

I am waiting for the app that takes out wine stains! Maybe next year?

Alder wrote:
04.01.13 at 2:25 PM


I've added all your feature requests to our DB, we'll get started on them as soon as we launch the "WWPS -- What Would Parker Smell?" feature.

L.M. Archer wrote:
04.01.13 at 2:46 PM

Nice. Google Nose, please...thanks for leading the way, Vinography...sigh...as usual. :D

04.01.13 at 3:30 PM

The video is really well done. The video comment about a "15 million scenta-byte database of smells..." was a tell-tale clue for sure ;)

04.01.13 at 3:50 PM

Wow - this development sounds fascinating and I would be delighted to test drive it on champagne at your convenience. Congratulations & cheers CJ

Steve wrote:
04.01.13 at 3:52 PM


Alfonso wrote:
04.01.13 at 4:09 PM

nice one!

CSWLTD wrote:
04.01.13 at 6:49 PM

I would love to test this app

Tom Barras wrote:
04.01.13 at 6:50 PM

High tech version for winemaker notes that belong on the back label!

Put me on the waiting list!

Mel Knox wrote:
04.01.13 at 7:31 PM

Alder, can I get this in pina colada?

Glad to hear you are doing so well.
I hear you are replacing Galloni at The Wine Advocate and that Hydrant is doing the website for Toyota.

Well done.

Rich wrote:
04.01.13 at 7:37 PM

Amazing! Please put me on list.

Deanna wrote:
04.01.13 at 7:44 PM

This sounds so cool! I would love to try it!

David Savory wrote:
04.01.13 at 9:34 PM

I saw Vin65's press release on the same topic today and it was vaque. Your description of the technology is better but I still don't see how this can work without a new specialized hardware component for the smartphone. How can a microphone perform spectral (light) analysis? Certainly the microphone can't hear the esters?

Oh BTW, I would love to try out this revolutionary app.

David Savory

04.01.13 at 10:57 PM

All fooling aside - talk about drama. When I first read Alder's tweet and clicked over to the blog post, my heart sank. I've been working on and off for several years now on a new type of wine aroma chart(and app) based on cross-modal association. And now 4 weeks before we launch the mobile app Google goes and releases this new killer "tech-nose" technology... OMG, talk about Mega bad timing. Not a snowflake's chance of competing against Google backed technology. Then I started re-reading a little closer, watched the video, checked the calendar, and started feeling much better. Like a massive weight had been lifted :)

Scot Russo wrote:
04.02.13 at 1:04 AM

April fools! Nice attempt!

Jorge Miguel Jiménez Garavito wrote:
04.02.13 at 8:17 AM

It is a very revolutionary application.
I guess it will be useful for our clients and Sommellerie students.
Please let me know when is available at App Store.

Jorge Miguel Jimenez Garavito

@njwineandbeer wrote:
04.02.13 at 9:43 AM

How can we get into the beta programn

Vikki Oliver wrote:
04.02.13 at 1:42 PM

This sounds awesome. Very excited since my brain gets fuzzy now and then and when I try to access information it seems to be hiding!! And sometimes there just aren't enough words for some wines!

Very avid wine taster and drinker!! Can't wait to try it!

Keep it coming! :)

Kristin wrote:
04.03.13 at 7:40 PM

Okay, I'm noticing that this entry was posted on April Fool's Day. Have I been duped?! This Aroma App sounds too good to be true (I agree with the other comments).

Do you need any more beta testers? I'd eagerly oblige.
Bravo & cheers!

Amelie wrote:
04.04.13 at 3:17 AM

Woo amazing app, Can't wait to try it please reserve me a place

Rusty G wrote:
04.04.13 at 4:46 AM

This has the potential to be the best educational tool for novice and experienced wine enthusiasts. Can't wait to give it a try!

04.05.13 at 5:44 AM

I would love to have access to this app. Very exciting and interesting .

Alex wrote:
04.06.13 at 2:32 PM

This is fascinating I can't wait to see it in action

Andrea wrote:
04.07.13 at 9:59 AM

Guys, this is a April's fool joke!

Ron Rubin wrote:
04.07.13 at 11:58 AM

What a bad day to launch this "App that will Revolutionize Your Wine Tasting"

Is this an April Fool's Joke?????

04.07.13 at 12:48 PM

Yes, this is a really-really well done April fool's joke. Don't know if they give awards for blog based April fool's jokes but if they do this one has to be in the running for the top prize :)

David Price wrote:
04.07.13 at 10:38 PM

Does this tremendous response give you any ideas for taking Vinography in a different direction? Perhaps a comedy/reality show where Vinography films each segment from different locations in the wine country, and testing the participants' and audience's ability to guess where the show is coming from, the relevant AVA(s), and the predominant varietal(s)? I'll volunteer to hold the cue cards! Free of charge!

SimonB wrote:
04.08.13 at 6:18 AM

Very interested to try it,

Debbie Elder wrote:
04.08.13 at 8:12 AM

Yes, please. This sounds so exciting. I want one!

winedog wrote:
04.08.13 at 8:18 AM

April Fools Day!!!!! Rachel Maddow reported on this joke on 4/1.

Carol wrote:
04.08.13 at 1:48 PM

I'd love to try this app...sounds like it was made for me!!

Russ wrote:
04.10.13 at 7:22 AM

Brilliant compelling article though slowly but surely I began to smell a rat (Sorry!!!)

Mind you many thought Da Vinci mad so who knows in 30 years time.............

Ian wrote:
04.14.13 at 5:25 PM

Neat stuff and almost hard to believe. I'm happy to test drive the app if you're seeking testers. Best of luck

Christina wrote:
04.20.13 at 6:57 AM

And I have always been saying that the smell is the only smell that cannot be recorded. Great idea. Can't wait to use it!

Christina Boutari

Jim Marks wrote:
05.03.13 at 9:08 AM

I would very much enjoy trying out this app. Please put me in line to try!

Jim Marks wrote:
05.04.13 at 6:42 AM

Also, please sign me up for automated wine review app.

Christophe wrote:
05.06.13 at 2:14 PM

Please update me on the AromaApp. Thanks

Christina wrote:
05.21.13 at 8:50 AM

I would love to try this! Very interesting and innovative!

Rebecca wrote:
06.03.13 at 7:03 PM

would love tot ry this app!

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